Mothers best for advice on the big financial decisions

Mothers are best for money matters advice within the family yet often neglect their own financial wellbeing. There are tips for women and families to make the most of their finances.

 Mothers best for advice

More people ask their mothers for advice than anyone else

Mothers are the key source of advice on the biggest decisions for most people, ahead of dads, siblings, other family members, friends and independent sources, according to research from BMO.

It says 25% of people turn to their mothers when making a big decision, compared with 16% who ask their father for advice. 18% ask their mothers for advise on big financial purchases, 16% on decisions around career and work and 14% on managing money. And women are more likely than men to turn to their mums for advice for all of these things.

Those aged 16 to 22 (so-called GenZs) are around twice as likely as those aged 23 to 39 years old to go to their mums for advice with 45% going to their mums for advice on big decisions, compared to 24% for their older peers.

32% of 16 to 22-year olds go to their mothers for advise on career and work decisions and 30% on managing money compared with 15% and 13% respectively for 23 to 39 year olds.

14% of people advise their mothers on managing money and 12% advise them on large financial purchases.

Ross Duncton, managing director, head of marketing and direct at BMO said: “As Mother’s Day approaches, these findings remind us just how much support mums provide in all aspects of our lives.

“More people are likely to go to their mother for financial advice than any other family member, friend or financial professional, reiterating the key role they play when it comes to making decision about our money too.”

“Given many of these decisions will be new to them, it makes sense that many Gen Zs are most likely to turn to their mums for advice on these important decisions, as well as other big decisions. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that it works both ways and people also feel they are able to provide their mums with sound advice too.”

BMO provides the following tips for ways that families can support each other with smart money decisions:

  • Talk about money with each other – open up the conversation about money to understand income, spending habits and where you can save;
  • Have collective saving goals, to support one another in situations when a family member may be unable to save;
  • Don’t forget the age-old tips, that are evergreen and appropriate for all, such as the importance of saving little and often when you can, investing for the medium to long term, and keeping an eye on everyday spending where bills and discretionary spending habits are creeping up unnecessarily;
  • Where appropriate, share online streaming accounts such as Spotify and Netflix to benefit from family discount prices, and
  • Share more meals – for those who live with family members or others, think about group food preparation to help bring down costs.

Kay Ingram, director of public policy at financial planners LEBC said: “While mums are seen as a source of advice for other family members, they often neglect their own financial well-being in order to support other family members. This is evidenced in the gender pension and savings gaps, where mothers sacrifice their own earnings potential and later life savings by taking lower paid part time jobs to be available for their children.

“This Mother’s Day ask the mums amongst your friends and family what she has saved for her retirement? If she is typical, she will have around one third of the pensions of her partner. Many of the women we speak to have no idea that as non-earners they can still pay into pensions and receive an automatic 20% boost to their savings in tax relief.

“We encourage more women to continue saving for retirement and recommend that they earmark part of the family budget to this end. We want to ensure more women know they can afford to save by claiming the ‘free money’ available to them – the marriage allowance, credits for childcare and carers allowance included, and by reinstating Child Benefit for high earners.

“In the longer term, this will benefit not just them but their partners too. Two pension incomes paid in retirement will suffer less tax than one larger pension and a couple can take home far more net income when they each have pensions. Couples could achieve up to £25,000 in tax-free annual income between them by sharing their pension savings.”

Further reading: Pensions penalty for mothers and top tips on avoiding it



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